Top definition
A dummy made of tar, which cannot be struck without getting oneself hopelessly stuck to it--from the story "Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox" by Joe Harris, as told by his fictional narrator, Uncle Remus.

Tar baby has become short hand for a situation better avoided than confronted.
The issue of immigration has become a tar baby for president Gearge W. Bush.
by thalio May 16, 2006
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2
a situation almost impossible to get out of; a problem virtually unsolvable;
His political advisers told him to stay away from the controversy,
that it was a no-win cause, a “tar baby.”
by Richard April 18, 2004
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3
A sticky mess. Something unable to get away from.Alternate: Similar to a Catch-22. Damned if you do and damned if you dont. A mistaken notion or misunderstanding that immediately produces indignation.
Talking about un-wed teen pregnancy is a real tar baby
by jaatee July 31, 2006
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4
Tar baby is a synonym for nigger, except that it is only used in bigoted manners, whereas nigger can be a sign of respect, if the speaker is also African American.

It comes from a children's story in which the dark skin and seeming ignorance (caused by a lack of schooling) of slaves were explained by the idea that black children were baptised in tar, which made them dark and dumb.

see nigger
Biff: Let's beat the sh*t out of that tar baby.
Tad: Shall we?
by Cameron Murphy July 08, 2004
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5
An african american baby, most likely very black.
Oh gosh it's a tar baby! Lock the car doors!
by 3 in a box! <3!*$!! December 11, 2007
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6
Now used as an insult to black people, the tar baby was originally a jet black baby doll (becaue it was made out of tar) used to trap Br'er Rabbit Rabbit in an American folk tale.

Tar baby can also be a term used to describe a "sticky" situation.
It's not racist to call an actual tar baby a tar baby! That's like saying it's racist to call Ritz "crackers" or chocolate sandwich cookies "Oreos"!
by PokeyMan December 06, 2010
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7
A tarbaby is an african american (negro) who is dark. They happen to be so dark that they resemble dinosaurs in the ancient tarpits
Boy oh boy look at that tarbaby. i bet i couldn't see him in a dark alley.
by Phillip March 30, 2005
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